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Two years on from suspected gang-linked murder of Lois Tolley police warn those responsible, they will be caught

Police have issued a warning to anyone involved in the "cowardly and unnecessary" murder of Lois Tolley in Upper Hutt two years ago, saying it is only a matter of time before police knock on their door no matter how far they've gone.

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The 30-year-old was shot dead at point blank range in her home, no arrests have been made. Source: 1 NEWS

Sunday will mark two years since four people smashed their way into her home on Ward Street on the night of Friday 9 December 2016 and shot Ms Tolley dead as she tried to flee.

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The aunt of murderered Upper Hutt woman Lois Tolley made an appeal today to those responsible for her niece's death. Source: 1 NEWS

Police believe that the 30-year-old was deliberately targeted as part of a drug debt collection or that they were looking for drugs and cash.

"Sadly, Lois had become involved in the Upper Hutt drug scene and her death appears to have been connected to that world," Detective Senior Sergeant Glenn Barnett, who is in charge of the investigation, said.

"We believe that the four people who came to her home that night were attempting to carry out some form of 'taxing' or debt collection," he said.

"In the moments after the four attackers smashed their way into her home, Lois was left dead, neighbours were threatened, and drugs and cash were left behind."

At least one of the attackers appears to have been overcome by remorse, being heard yelling "what have we done" as the four made their getaway.

"Lois was no threat to anyone, and even the most hardened criminals and gang members have said her death was a cowardly act and completely unnecessary," Mr Barnett said.

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Cathrine MacDonald, the mother of Lois Tolley, appealed for help today in the search for her daughter's killers. Source: 1 NEWS

Ms Tolley was part of a tight-knit family, who say her death still feels like yesterday.

"I just want to put my arms around her and never let her go," Ms Tolley's mother Cathrine said.

"They stole her future away from her and have devastated ours, it is so hard not hearing her voice and seeing her beautiful smile."

"We know that Loie was not perfect, nobody is, but Loie was our perfect."

Police involved in Operation Archer have spoken to hundreds of people in connection with the case including drug dealers and users, and gang members, Detective Inspector Scott Miller said.

"We started out two years ago with more than 130 persons of interest and a huge amount of information to work through," he said.

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Lois Tolley was found dead on December 10 after being stabbed and shot in her home. Source: 1 NEWS

Though the work has been slow over two years, police say they spoken to associates of those involved and have witnesses willing to give evidence if the case goes to court.

"While some of these associates are unwilling to provide formal statements, there are some who have, allowing us to build a solid group of witnesses who are signed up to give evidence when we’re able to bring the case to court," Detective Senior Sergeant Barnett said.

"There are others who were involved either directly before or after her murder, who have information which could help us close this case and have not yet spoken to us."

Detective Senior Sergeant Barnett is pleading with those people to put aside their loyalties or issues with police and to think of Tolley’s family.

"It could be that they are in a difficult position due to perceived loyalties to those involved, or they may just not like police, to those people, I would urge them look past their nerves or antipathy to police," he said.

"Think about the devastation Lois’ death has caused her family and loved ones."

"Put yourselves in their shoes - how would you feel if one of your loved ones died in the callous, senseless way that Lois did, and nobody was brought to justice for it because of some misguided loyalty or a dislike for Police?"

The case has even gone across the Tasman, with many people of interest moving to Australia soon after the murder or speaking to police.

"A number of those people have been spoken to by Australian police, and members of the Operation Archer investigation team have travelled overseas for interviews, with some very interesting information has been gained as a result of these overseas enquiries," Detective Inspector Miller said.

"All those involved should know that it is only a matter of time before we knock on their door, it might not be today, and it might not be tomorrow, but I remain confident that we will get the evidence we need to charge those involved in Lois' death."

Anyone who has information that could assist the investigation into Lois Tolley's death is urged to contact the Operation Archer team at Lower Hutt Police Station on 04 560 2600. 

Information can also be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.